Amorphous silicon thin film transistor as nonvolatile device.
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n-channel and p-channel amorphous-silicon thin-film transistors (a-Si:H TFTs) with copper electrodes prepared by a novel plasma etching process have been fabricated and studied. Their characteristics are similar to those of TFTs with molybdenum electrodes. The reliability was examined by extended high-temperature annealing and gate-bias stress. High-performance CMOS-type a-Si:H TFTs can be fabricated with this plasma etching method. Electrical characteristics of a-Si:H TFTs after Co-60 irradiation and at different experimental stages have been measured. The gamma-ray irradiation damaged bulk films and interfaces and caused the shift of the transfer characteristics to the positive voltage direction. The field effect mobility, on/off current ratio, and interface state density of the TFTs were deteriorated by the irradiation process. Thermal annealing almost restored the original state's characteristics. Floating gate n-channel a-Si:H TFT nonvolatile memory device with a thin a- Si:H layer embedded in the SiNx gate dielectric layer has been prepared and studied. The hysteresis of the TFT's transfer characteristics has been used to demonstrate its memory function. A steady threshold voltage change between the "0" and "1" states and a large charge retention time of > 3600 s with the "write" and "erase" gap of 0.5 V have been detected. Charge storage is related to properties of the embedded a-Si:H layer and its interfaces in the gate dielectric structure. Discharge efficiencies with various methods, i.e., thermal annealing, negative gate bias, and light exposure, separately, were investigated. The charge storage and discharge efficiency decrease with the increase of the drain voltage under a dynamic operation condition. Optimum operating temperatures are low temperature for storage and higher temperature for discharge. a-Si:H metal insulator semiconductor (MIS) capacitor with a thin a-Si:H film embedded in the silicon nitride gate dielectric stack has been characterized for memory functions. The hysteresis of the capacitor's current-voltage and capacitance-voltage curves showed strong charge trapping and detrapping phenomena. The 9 nm embedded a-Si:H layer had a charge storage capacity six times that of the capacitor without the embedded layer. The nonvolatile memory device has potential for low temperature circuit applications.
Subjectamorphous silicon TFT memory
Nominanda, Helinda (2008). Amorphous silicon thin film transistor as nonvolatile device.. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from